Mexican Wedding Cakes

October 12, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao
  • Makes 4 to 5 dozen
Author Notes

Maybe you knew these crumbly shortbread cookies as Russian Tea Cakes, or Snowballs, or Viennese Crescents, rather than Mexican Wedding Cookies (or Polvorones, as they're called in Mexico—from the word for dust, polvo). Theories abound on why the same cookie ball appears to have descended from so many places (was it European nuns traveling to Mexico? Or Cold War rebranding?) If you have a hypothesis to add, we want to hear it! (Note, too, that this version has the unusual addition of tequila, which stands in quite nicely for vanilla.) Slightly adapted from Gregg Gillespie's 1001 Cookies (Black Dog & Leventhal, 1995). —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening (butter can be substituted, or use a mixture)
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tequila
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • Powdered sugar for rolling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the shortening and confectioners' sugar. Beat in the tequila. Gradually blend in the flour. Fold in the pecans.
  3. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll into balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm, then transfer to wire racks to cool.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gail Howe
    Gail Howe
  • Sally
  • Susan
  • Michelle Connell
    Michelle Connell

5 Reviews

Sally December 6, 2017
Is there any good substitute to make these nut-free? I LOVE these cookies but am allergic to tree-nuts! peanuts maybe?
Susan July 31, 2017
What about a little vanilla and lime zest?!
Gail H. December 27, 2015
Leave out the tequila ~ Russian Tea Cakes
Gail H. December 27, 2015
Add Vanilla Extract?
Michelle C. December 10, 2018
That's what I plan to do also :)